Return of the King: A Preview

Yesterday I got back from the company’s annual manager meeting/trade show. (I’ll tell the story of the trip back another time; needless to say, it wasn’t fun getting from Charlotte to Raleigh in the middle of a hurricane, and there are other managers who I know had a much worse time of it.)

Well, EA showed the managers a game trailer they had put together for Return of the King. They had a couple of rules they went through before they showed it. First, New Line hadn’t approved the trailer. Second, videotaping wasn’t allowed. Third, cameras weren’t allowed.

Some of the images the trailer showed were rather interesting, with characters in places that I know they shouldn’t be. (But I should note that the EA rep said that once you’ve beaten a path of the game with one character, any of the other available characters can play that path, so you could have Aragorn, for instance, carry the Ring into the Cracks of Doom.) The major spoiler in the trailer, I think, was the appearance of Shelob. Even the RotK preview on the second disc of the Two Towers DVD didn’t show Shelob, yet in the EA trailer there’s a scene of Frodo battling Shelob.

One thing that pissed me off was that the PS2 version of the game will be playable online. No, I haven’t played my PS2 or my XBox online, but EA’s continued snubbing of XBox Live is just plain pointless.

I’m not sure how much of what I saw in the trailer was gameplay and how much was pre-generated cut-scenes. Either way, it’s still a visually impressive game, and I’ll be looking forward to it.

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